Environment: Opening Your Eyes

No one, to the day of my graduation, had ever taught me to look understandingly at a painting, or a tree, or the facade of a building.

—George F. Kennan, Memoirs

Kennan is far from alone. Because of widespread visual illiteracy, most of man-made America is ugly, messy and inchoate. But something may soon be done about the root problem. Next week Senator Claiborne Pell's Education Subcommittee will hold hearings on a bill that would provide $10 million annually for environmental—including visual—education. During the hearings, the committee members (average age: 54) will be asked to pore over a book written expressly for 13-year-olds.

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